Inspector Montalbano was having yet another treacherous night; drifting, jolting awake and then lying back down, things had been weighing on his mind of late, mainly anger and disappointment. Livia his long time girlfriend had tried to pacify and focus him again but the current government revelation had brought things to the surface, Montalbano was feeling betrayed by the people he trusted most. False evidence had been planted against a group of political protesters in order to justify their detention but this wasn't coming from violent beat cops, the fabrications were from commissioners and vice-commissioners, inspectors and captains, Montalbano blood had now reached boiling point his decision had been made, he was ready to resign.
Before turning in for work Montalbano needs to clear his head, he decides to take a long swim in the sea, it might be relaxing, lost in thought and all too late he had swam too far, beginning to struggle he flips on his back just to catch his breath. Shortly thereafter he accidentally bumps into another swimmer he apologises but was getting no reply he quickly discovers to his horror the body was actually a corpse. Later that week when the autopsy report comes back the death of the unidentified man was listed as an accidental drowning; Montalbano knew better, something about this floating body didn't feel right.
With the body case chewing at his insides just to top his worst week Montalbano gets a call to take control of another boatload of illegal immigrants landing on their Sicilian shores. Montalbano sets about getting some organization in place, he notices a little African boy making a break from his family and gives chase; he takes the boy tightly by his hand and lively returns the boy to his mother the boy looks terrified. A few days later the same boy is caught in a hit and run accident, out of guilt Montalbano takes it upon himself to investigate. Within hours both cases turn into a web of coincidence this could only mean one thing...... his resignation was on the back burner.
Andrea Camilleri has written a wonderful Montalbano mystery series, what I love about this series would be the charactisations and language the usage of dialogue in conversation it's all been kept real it's got sharp wit and ironic comic moments. The sly comments on Italian life and culture keep things amusing and interesting.
Montalbano is just a fantastic leading character and for this book a very troubled soul his job begins to weigh him down can he fight corruption from all directions still when in doubt he quotes favourite authors' lines picking himself up from the gloom and his clearly well read.
Women of all ages find Montalbano attractive, none more so than the beautiful Swede, Ingrid Sjostrom she's highly dangerous company for him and he knows it, she can get frisky, but in spite of much temptation he remains faithful to his long time girlfriend Livia who's happy to adjust her schedule and hop on the next plane to Palermo from Genoa to calm and comfort him in his time of need. Montalbano loyal chaotic comical team are just fantastic, no matter what he throws there way they continue to support him even through all his own faults and unruly tactics.
The whole series has a timeless feel about them; I took a whole batch of this series on a vacation and was not disappointed by any. All Montalbano mysteries start in comedy but end in horror and melodrama but it done with lots of human interest in every plot, It clearly deserves to be read from the beginning.
A special mention to poet Stephen Sartarelli, for the clear translation of each book and for the informative notes given at the back on wording. Thank you.
A wonderful read.